The updated salary numbers for MLS clubs have been released by the Players' Union. You can review all of the numbers here, but let's go over some of the additions, surprises, and good and bad values for Chivas USA.
Juan Pablo Angel: (Base salary: $1 million/Guaranteed salary: $1.25 million) The rumor has been swirling that the Galaxy is going to pay a portion of JPA's salary for the rest of the season, so given Chivas' reputation for, uh, frugality, they are probably paying only a cut-rate portion of his pro-rated salary. He's got one goal in three games so far, so we'll see come season's end if he was a worthy pickup.
Laurent Courtois: (Base salary: $60,000/Guaranteed salary: $206,000) This may be a move more for next season than this one, but Courtois has looked quite good so far, and his salary is relatively low for a foreign veteran transfer. He's scored once in six appearances, but his impact has been strong so far.
David Junior Lopes: (Base/Guaranteed salary: $45,000) As I wrote yesterday in my match report of the DC United game, I think it is hard for a defender to come into a new league in the in-season transfer window and slot in comfortably. That said, he's had a tough stretch so far, with a red card and a near penalty in three games. But he's only 22, and if he can find his footing next season, he may be a good value for the Goats.
Ante Jazic: (Base salary: $115,000/Guaranteed salary: $123,000) I suppose this comes from Jazic being a veteran. He's having a strong season, and has been having a surprisingly good offensive season with six assists.
Simon Elliott: (Base salary: $75,000/Guaranteed salary: $79,000) Meanwhile, Elliott, who has been the midfield general all season for Chivas and is currently serving as club captain, makes a relatively small amount. He's 37, and I think Chivas did not expect him to be so important when they signed him in the offseason, so he comes relatively cheaply. He's not a player for the future, obviously, but good value for this year.
Michael Umana: (Base salary: $138,000/Guaranteed salary: $145,000) I am pretty surprised by this one. Umana played with the Galaxy back in 2005 before returning to Costa Rica and bouncing around his domestic league. When he returned to MLS in 2010 with Chivas, he got himself a decent payday. He is an international, but he started the season as a backup and is still widely panned by Chivas fans, including this one.
Dan Kennedy: (Base/Guaranteed salary: $62,496) Best value on the team. Kennedy emerged as the full-time starter this season, and has established himself as one of the league's best goalkeepers this season. And he is one of the lowest-paid starters. Get Kennedy a raise! If Chivas don't give him one, he may have no choice but to go elsewhere, like Chivas' last elite goalkeeper.
Heath Pearce: (Base salary: $247,825/Guaranteed salary: $257,325) With his recent absence showing his true impact, Pearce is also a good value, despite being the second-highest paid player on the team (yes, you read that right). Remember, before coming to FC Dallas, Pearce played in the Bundesliga, so he could leverage a good salary when coming to MLS. But his impact has been tremendous this season, so it looks like he's been worth the cost.
Nick LaBrocca: (Base salary: $84,700/Guaranteed salary: $84,200) The undisputed offensive MVP for Chivas also comes at a remarkably cheap price. One would think his all-star berth and co-leading the team in goals should be good for an extension and raise. Make it happen, front office!
Justin Braun: (Base salary: $85,000/Guaranteed salary: $87,500) Now, Braun is having a much worse season than the stats would indicate, but he is tied for 6th-most goals in the league, and is the lowest-paid player relative to goals scored this season, with the exceptions of his teammate LaBrocca and Fabian Espindola of Real Salt Lake (Base/guaranteed salary: $75,000). So while he's only scored in three games, for his seven goals, he has produced very well for his salary.
Paulo Nagamura: (Base salary: $225,000/Guaranteed salary: $230,500) This is a bit unfair, as it isn't Nagamura's fault he's been injured for most of the season. But he's got a single assist in 11 appearances this season, and even when he was healthy, Simon Elliott was generally preferred ahead of him. Now, with surgery for a broken foot, he will have another long layoff, but hopefully he can provide more value next season.
Zach Thornton: (Base salary: $155,000/Guaranteed salary: $162,500) I'm guessing he won't be back next season, and he has been a good goalkeeper in the past for Chivas. But with Dan Kennedy finally staying healthy for nearly all of the season, having a backup that makes three times the starter's salary doesn't make a lot of sense. Of course, like Jazic, Thornton gets paid so much in part because of his long career in MLS. But as far as value is concerned, he's not really providing it.
Mariano Trujillo: (Base/Guaranteed salary: $99,225) Trujillo is a good squad player, but he's never emerged as a starter. He makes less than all of the regular starting defenders, but a 34 year old with 10 appearances, all as a substitute, does not make for good value.
What do you think of these figures? Agree or disagree with the assessments? Leave a comment below!